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Mid-Season Grades, Part I

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Starting today I'll be checking in with each of our boys to see exactly where they're at. In most instances of the offense, I'll also gloss over how I projected them to perform back in late January. That'll be worth a laugh.

Today's installment will cover catchers and relief pitchers.

I'll be grading on four factors for position players: Overall offense and overall defense, which are pretty self-explanitory. Then, a grade for baserunning, based off of both stolen bases and how intelligently base running decisions are made. (Players who do not steal bases will not see their grade affected.) Lastly, I'll grade on recent play, which can sometimes be glossed over by looking at yearly totals.

For pitchers, I'll be grading on overall performance, effectiveness, peripherals and recent play.

Catchers


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG

2008 - Joe Mauer

Projected

77

139

278

518

51

n/a

90

172

22

34

1

3

3

14

36

n/a

43

74

23

56

0

9

1

n/a

.324

.332

.409

.416

.442

.490


I like to give out good grades. So it's easy to start with Joe. He's been great, and seemingly has a positive contribution at the plate in every game. Versus my clearly optimistic predictions he's holding up fairly well, except he isn't stealing any bases this year and he isn't on pace to match my homer-tastic longball totals.

Overall Offense: A
Overall Defense: A
Basepaths: B
Recent Play: A


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG

2008 - Mike Redmond

Projected

19

45

60

153

7

n/a

18

44

4

8

0

0

0

1

6

n/a

4

8

6

16

0

0

0

n/a

.300

.288

.338

.323

.367

.359

Thanks to both Mauer's successes on the field and his continued health, Redmond's playing time has been drastically reduced this season. In spite of this he's still playing well, and for a guy who just turned 37 a couple of months ago it's nothing short of fantastic. He continues to be one of the game's best backup catchers.

Overall Offense: B+
Overall Defense: A-
Basepaths: A
Recent Play: A

Relief Pitchers


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Joe Nathan 0-0 35 0 0 0 23 2 34.2 26 5 5 3 6 38 1.30 .92

Still one of the game's premier closers and best relief pitchers, Nathan's services have been invaluable to a team who's out-performing every realistic projection from every baseball expert in the country. If you're willing to assign a lot of value for the confidence a young starting staff has in its bullpen, then our Joe will be worth every penny of that brand new contract.

Overall Performance: A
Effectiveness: A
Peripherals: A
Recent Play: A


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Jesse Crain 3-2 34 0 0 0 0 2 35.1 37 14 11 4 14 27 2.80 1.44

Crain's return couldn't have come at a better time. With Pat Neshek down and Juan Rincon imploding in upon himself, the Twins needed someone to shoulder some high-leverage innings, and so far he's been up for the challenge. It's hard to believe, but this is already his fifth year spending time in Minnesota.

Overall Performance: A-
Effectiveness: B+
Peripherals: B+
Recent Play: B


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Matt Guerrier 4-3 40 0 0 0 1 2 45.0 42 18 16 4 21 31 3.20 1.40

Guerrier hasn't been as wicked as he was last season, but he's still been pretty decent as a middle relief guy who can succeed in tough spots. It's not his stuff that keeps him effective, it's his intelligence and ability to use what he has to the best of his ability. He's reliable, and he's been around long enough now to know what it takes to get by in the bullpen. It's been a good year for Guerrier...again.

Overall Performance: B+
Effectiveness: B
Peripherals: B
Recent Play: B


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Dennys Reyes 2-0 39 0 0 0 0 0 24.0 21 6 6 1 7 12 2.25 1.17

For all the heat Reyes takes, he does his job just fine. Nobody will ever confuse him with a pitcher with an imposing fastball or devastating stuff, but for the job he's been assigned he fits the bill. He'll always be at his best when his exposure is limited to one or two hitters, which as far as I'm concerned is a waste of limited bullpen resources, but it's hard to argue with his results.

Overall Performance: A-
Effectiveness: B-
Peripherals: B-
Recent Play: A


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Craig Breslow 0-0 18 0 0 0 0 0 19.0 13 3 3 1 7 18 1.42 1.05
Breslow's been a pleasant surprise for middle relief. He usually pitches a couple of times per week, and he's always done well with the Twins. The problem is that even though he comes out of the bullpen two or three times a week (at least, he did in June), he's in and out of the game so quickly it's hard to notice him. I guess that's what happens when your appearances are shortened because you don't allow any baserunners.

Overall Performance: A
Effectiveness: A
Peripherals: A
Recent Play: A


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Brian Bass 3-2 31 0 0 0 1 0 54.2 64 32 27 9 17 25 4.45 1.48
Brian's role has changed slightly as the year's gone one, as he's gone from mop-up duty into a vague semblance of middle relief since Bonser was demoted. As that happened his performance changed, and he's been more reliable. He had a fantastic last half of June, and the Twins will certainly need him to continue to improve as the summer wears on.

Overall Performance: C-
Effectiveness: C
Peripherals: C
Recent Play: B+


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2008 - Boof Bonser 3-6 21 12 0 0 0 0 79.0 94 62 54 9 24 58 6.15 1.49
Oh my dear, sweet Boof. It's been a rough year all around, and being moved into the bullpen hasn't done much for his ERA. I'm not sure what's in his immediate future, but I still wish him success. I just wish him more success with us, like he's had his last three times out.

Overall Performance: F
Effectiveness: F
Peripherals: C+
Recent Play: B

More grades to come, although I'm sure they'll be split into two more parts. I'm hoping to get through them all by the end of the weekend. See you tonight for the game!